Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a stroke that lasts only a few minutes. It happens when the blood supply to part of the brain is briefly blocked. The Symptoms are like other strokes, but do not last as long. They happen suddenly, and include,
- Numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body
- Confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Difficulty walking
- Loss of balance or coordination
Most symptoms of a TIA disappear within an hour, although they may last for up to 24 hours. Because you can’t tell if these symptoms are from a TIA or a stroke, you should go to the emergency room right away.
TIAs are often a warning sign for future strokes. Taking medicine, such as blood thinners, may reduce your risk of a stroke. Your doctor might also recommend surgery. You can also help lower your risk by having a healthy lifestyle. This includes not smoking, not drinking too much, eating a healthy diet, and exercising. It is also important to control other health problems, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.
What Are The Symptoms of TIA?
When someone’s having a TIA, it looks like a stroke. The big difference is that TIAs last just a few minutes and the symptoms usually go away in an hour.
If you see or have one or more of these symptoms, don’t wait, go to your local emergency room.
- Sudden numbness or weakness of ace, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech.
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
What Causes a TIA?
TIAs typically happen because a blood clot gets lodged in an artery that supplies blood to the brain. Without regular blood flow, your brain is starved for oxygen and can’t work like it normally does.
That’s why you get symptoms like muscle weakness or slurred speech. It would be like having a clogged fuel line in your car. Your engine can’t run if it’s not getting gas.
Clots form when you have a buildup of a fatty, waxy substance called plaque in your arteries. They can take shape anywhere in your body and float along until they get stuck somewhere. If that “somewhere” happens to be an artery that goes to your brain, you can have a TIA.
You can also get a TIA if so, much plaque builds up in an artery that it severely limits blood flow to the brain, just like a clot.
Is TIA Different From a Stroke?
TIAs are very similar to ischemic strokes, which are also caused by blood clots. The main difference is that a TIA only lasts a few minutes. The clot then gets pushed along, like a temporary clog in a pipe, or chemicals in your body quickly break it down. Normal blood flow returns to your brain before any lasting problems set in. Symptoms can last for up to 24 hours, but they’re usually gone in an hour.
Strokes, on the other hand, don’t go away so quickly. That means some part of your brain goes without oxygen, and the longer that lasts, the more damage happens. While a TIA comes on, goes away, and leaves no symptoms, a stroke can have long-lasting effects and can be life-threatening.
What Are The Risk Factors?
High blood pressure is a major risk factor. It can damage the inner walls of the arteries, resulting in atherosclerosis. This plaque buildup can rupture and lead to blood clots in these arteries. These abnormalities can lead to a transient ischemic attack and sudden cardiac arrest.
If you’ve received a high blood pressure diagnosis from your doctor, it’s important to keep track of your blood pressure on a routine basis. You should invest in a home blood pressure monitor to check your blood pressure.
Keeping Tracking of Your Blood Pressure
Sometimes people have what’s called white coat syndrome. This means that your blood pressure can be higher than usual in your doctor’s office due to anxiety about having your blood pressure checked.
Keeping track of your blood pressure at home can give your doctor a more accurate assessment of your typical blood pressure. This information helps them adjust your blood pressure medications more effectively.
If you have an at-home machine, you should check your blood pressure immediately if you experience any of the following:
- lack of coordination
- gait disturbance
If you don’t have a way to check your blood pressure at home, you should call your doctor immediately or go to a local urgent care center.
Red River ER is here to support our community with concierge-level care for all ages. Our board-certified doctors can stabilize transient ischemic attack (TIA) cases. If you ever experience TIA and need help finding the right long-term treatment plan for you, we can help. Red River ER is open 24/7, even on holidays, to make sure you and your family has access to the best care.
Red River ER supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on us, or any one of our concierge-level, medical facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.